As I was falling into a blissful sleep, I suddenly had a story pop into my mind.
And then I saw with great clarity a video of the story. I let the video play in my mind and tried to go to sleep, but found myself creating the sentences in my mind and re-writing here and there! At 1am I knew I had to get up and write the story before it left me for good…
The Message in a Bottle wanted its story to be heard… so here it is
You’re walking along the beach. It’s a fine day; soft breeze, sun is shining and you playfully kick up the sand at your feet as your thoughts wander here, wander there. Thoughts wandering nowhere in particular.
And as you’re meandering along the beach with the seagulls making a distinct sound in your ears, you notice a bottle half stuck in the sand at the waters edge. You see it, but don’t really take a great deal of notice and continue to meander up the beach.
But as you wander several feet past the bottle that your mind happened to register, you suddenly feel this strong urge.
An urge and curiosity.
Your feet seem to stop of their own accord and the urge is so powerful that it seems like two strong, burly hands have a hold of your upper biceps – digging in painfully while a voice screams inside your head “turn around and go back!”
In exasperation you kick the sand, swivel around, and glare at the bottle several feet away. It’s still there… beckoning.
“Alright, alright!” you mutter as you make your way toward this mysterious bottle.
You pick it up.
The bottle is green in color and the texture feels cool and smooth in your hand. You turn it this way, that way; admiring the sun glinting off its surface and making different colors.
Then you notice that inside the bottle is a piece of paper.
So you start to turn the cork in the bottle, hearing it squeak in protest beneath your hand as it screams at being lodged from its comfortable position.
Then with a pop, suddenly the cork flies out to land at your feet where your toes are unconsciously curling in the sand.
But no. No matter how hard you try, your little finger just can’t get the paper out of the very narrow neck of the bottle. So you look around for a twig to coast the paper out. Clutching at the twig, you conscientiously work at it until at last, the paper is set free.
You’re starting to feel a little excited.
“Wow! A message in a bottle!” your mind shouts.
You recall all the fanciful stories of your youth. Finding a message in a bottle and a long lost story of someone, somewhere, in the world.
You notice that the paper appears yellow at the edges – as if it has been in the bottle a long time. It almost appears to crackle as you begin to unfurl it. And in your mind, you see the bottle travelling a long distance and a long time in the ocean to finally land at its resting place – and at last, for its secrets to be unearthed.
You can hardly contain your excitement as, with hands starting to tremble, you gingerly unroll the paper. Only to find with glee that it is not one, but several pages rolled into the bottle!
“My goodness!” you think, “This person must have a very important tale to tell the world. And I found it!”
Overcome with the importance of your find, your legs start to buckle and softly you fall to the sand, along with the bottle.
As your feet feel the sand worm its way in between your toes, you open the papers with a reverence like state.
With the surf making a gentle sound right before your toes, and the sun making its descent to meet Mother Earth, you begin to read.
You feel like your eyes and brain can’t keep up as your eyes skip over the words in your haste to devour what the message has to tell you.
Then your hands start to tremble.
Your heart begins to do a loud boom boom in your ears; matching time to the jiggling of your feet in the sand.
Because you see… the message, the story you are reading – it is about you.
Every intimate detail about your inner thoughts. Your dreams. Your desires.
You gasp! And as you feel the loud rush in your head, the paper inadvertently falls to the sand and it is in fear of being swallowed by the ocean now lapping up to your thighs.
You twist and turn. Gasp. Grab for the paper. Because you need to see what else it has to say. What it has to say about YOU!
Clutching the paper in your fist, thinking “I’m crunching this old paper, it’s going to disintegrate!” you scramble and kick out with your feet and shimmy away from the lapping tide.
Safe from the water… safe from the paper being lost forever, and with a disbelieving look on your face, you again read the paper that you are holding in your right hand.
The handwriting is still legible. A handwriting not dissimilar to your own. You continue to read the story.
With amazement, you read your own thoughts. Your dreams. Your goals. Your journey in life.
The paper reveals your heartaches. Your challenges. Your disappointments.
And it paints a picture of your strength. Your courage. Your belief. Your accomplishments.
It speaks of untold adversity. It speaks of things lost. It speaks of things forgotten and longed for.
It tells a tale of where you started, the journey you took, the decisions you made, and where you are now.
The paper feels comforting in your hand. As if it has taken you by the hand. It whispers and echoes in your ears… acknowledging you.
Acknowledging who you are. Your accomplishments, big and small. The paper rustles in the breeze and thanks you for being you. It dances in your hand and loudly says that no dream is lost.
The paper is speaking your story.
Reminding you of what matters most. Letting you know that what is past is past. That you are a special part of this great Universe. That life is one continuous journey. And that you should never give up on your dreams. No matter what.
You close your eyes and let the paper’s message enter your soul and being.
Overwhelmed with a powerful emotion, you see your tears gently drop to the paper in your hand and mingle with the ink on the page.
Creating little pathways from the word to the edge of the page. As if the path was making its way into the distance. As if the path was a continuing journey of what was started before it.
As the sun falls beyond the horizon and your eyes can no longer read the words on the page, you lift yourself from the sand and with a deeper respect, cradle the paper to your chest.
You feel a renewed hope. A new beginning. A motivation to re-write the message in the bottle with a different ending.
An ending you have full control over. And of which is totally yours.
Go find your bottle. Go find your message of hope. And importantly, go live your dreams.